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Elder Abuse Trial in Court This Week

At trial this week in Barrie is the case of a daughter and her husband who are facing charges under section 215 of the Criminal Code of Canada for “Failing to Provide the Necessities of Life” for her elderly and vulnerable mother, Viola Simonds. The mother was found in her daughter’s home in a room with the window painted black, covered in vomit, urine and feces. The daughter was Ms. Simonds’ attorney under a power of attorney for personal care.

Ms. Simonds’ social worker and doctor strongly advised that Ms. Simonds (who suffered from dementia among other ailments) should have been placed in a long-term care facility or at least been provided with home care, both of which would have been covered by Ms. Simond’s pension. The daughter and husband refused both options. Eventually, the social worker and doctor applied to the Ontario Consent and Capacity Board which, according to the online news articles, concluded that the social worker should make weekly unannounced visits to the home.  The social worker made her visits but repeated calls or knocks on the door went unanswered. It was only after a 911 call was placed at the home that Ms. Simonds was discovered and taken to the hospital.  Ms. Simonds has since passed away.

This case acts as a reminder that there is room for improvement for the protection of the elderly and vulnerable in our society, especially with our ageing population. We will post a verdict once it has been released in this decision. News articles on this case can be found here:

http://barrie.ctvnews.ca/photos-revealed-in-elder-abuse-trial-1.2053622

http://www.orilliapacket.com/2014/10/16/house-calls-were-futile-court-heard

http://www.torontosun.com/2014/10/15/court-hears-about-social-workers-attempt-to-save-viola-simonds

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